People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) candidates have expressed confidence of turning Bulawayo into their stronghold, taking over from the MDC-T that has been in control of the city since 2000.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Bulawayo has been an MDC-T stronghold since the formation of the party in 1999.
It was only in 2015 when the MDC-T lost five seats to the ruling Zanu PF in by-elections boycotted by the opposition party.
The by-election was precipitated by a decision by the MDC-T to expel four senators and 17 legislators who had crossed the floor to the then Tendai Biti-led MDC Renewal Team, which broke away from the MDC-T after bruising internal fights.
Former Mpopoma-Pelandaba MP Bekithemba Nyathi, who was one of the affected legislators, told Southern Eye he was confident of regaining the seat under a PRC ticket.
“We have unfinished programmes/projects that we started in 2013 after my election as the MP. The very reason that I am a child of Mpopoma-Pelandaba who shares their problems on a daily basis makes me confident that the community will trust me again with their vote to be their runner in Parliament,” Nyathi said.
“I have been an MP before and did not disappoint the constituency until I was recalled over political differences in my then political party, the MDC T.”
Other PRC parliamentary candidates, some of whom are first time contestants, said the coalition provided an alternative to Zanu PF and the MDC-T they dismissed as failures.
“The Bulawayo South community will vote for me because they deserve better and I have an inclusive developmental agenda on how this constituency can be resuscitated back to its glory days when key industries located in this constituency employed hundreds and sustained thousands of families, not only from Bulawayo South, but the rest of Bulawayo,” Clayton Jones, the PRC parliamentary candidate for Bulawayo South said.
“People have lost hope and need another alternative that is where we come into picture. I am in the position to win the constituency … above all, I am a businessman. So it means that I am not going into Parliament to secure a position and power to steal.”
The PRC parliamentary candidate for Magwegwe, Fortune Mlalazi, said: “We have the confidence that we are going to win the seat because we are providing an alternative after so many years of failure by those who were there. We are providing an alternative that is sustainable, especially if you look at we want to do.”
In Bulawayo, there are as much as 20 parliamentary contestants per constituency.
David Moyo, a businessperson and PRC Nkulumane constituency candidate said: “I am not campaigning to be elected, but campaigning to be confirmed as MP for Nkulumane. I have been engaged with the community since 2008, running several self-help projects and I am confident of grabbing the ticket to Parliament.”